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The Daily Tar Heel

Cartoon Linking Ashcroft To Ayatollah Khomeini Unfair and Unjustified

I am writing with regards to the editorial page cartoon found in The Daily Tar Heel on Feb 8. It is appalling to me that our University's news publication could demonstrate such ignorance as was displayed by this political cartoon. Anyone who truly and honestly believes John Ashcroft to be some sort of mullah waiting to enforce his views on any who disagree with him is willfully ignorant of political realities.

For nearly a month, fringe radicals in this nation have propagated the falsehoods that John Ashcroft is racist and zealous to impose his beliefs on the nation. His record, when viewed with an open and intelligent mind, clearly debunks both of those accusations. One needs only to look at his 'yea' votes in favor of confirmation of 23 of 26 black judicial nominees who came before the Senate during his tenure in that body to see the truth of what I say. Similarly, one can look at Mr. Ashcroft's record of support for civil rights initiatives and minority judicial officials in Missouri.

One also can look at the well-testified respect which those of other faiths who have worked for the man say they have received from him (and returned to him), despite their difference in beliefs. Truly, your editorial cartoon was startlingly shameless in its mendacity and in its slanderous nature.

As a Missourian expatriate, I have firsthand knowledge of Mr. Ashcroft's character and virtue as he served my state as attorney general, governor and later as senator. Your comparison of him to the late Ayatollah Khomeini is absolutely disgusting. Here you have a man, a good, solid, loving Christian man, who truly believes the Bible when it commands, "To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men" (Titus 3:2). Yet, you slander him by implying he is a kindred spirit to a terrorist who truly believed the Koran when that book says concerning Jews and Christians, "Fight against such of those who have been given the scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah has forbidden by his messenger, and follow not the religion of truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low" (Surat al-Taubah 9:29, Koran).

The Daily Tar Heel's comparison is completely unjustified and uncalled for. Shame on you!

Timothy W. Dunkin
M.A., Chemistry
Class of 2000

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